Kindergarten Cooks Around the World

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Kindergarten students at The Learning Center Charter School are cooking around the world with teachers Stephanie Wilson and Monica Gatti.

The Kindergarten classroom at the school is based around a Montessori-blend approach which extends the Montessori model from the school’s preschool into their first charter school classroom. Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.  Cooking is an important part of the Montessori Method as it allows young students to learn everything from fine motor skills, concentration and measuring as well as an understanding of where food comes from and how it is prepared in different cultures.

This year, Kindergarten teacher, Monica Gatti, is doing a different cooking lesson each month to learn about the world. For North America, the students made popcorn and loved seeing the transformation from kernel to puffed corn. When studying South America, a parent from Brazil joined the class to make Brigadeiros, a gooey chocolate fudge-like treat. For Europe, the class made gingerbread cookies which are traditionally from Germany. Soon a parent from Finland is visiting the class to make a Finnish treat similar to a cinnamon roll called a Korvapuusti.

Gatti says, “Cooking as a class has been so fun. What has been really special is that the students get to learn about the different cultures and heritages their fellow students have. What a great way to learn about the world!”

2nd Grade — Holiday Studies

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Second grade recently took a world tour to see how other countries and cultures celebrate their winter holidays. Students learned about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Australia, Germany, Italy, America and Mexico.

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The class visited each culture by travel through interactive Google World Maps. They learned about climate, population, took interactive tours of each country, the country’s flag and cultural lifestyle and how each celebrates a winter holiday. Along with virtual tours, interactive activities, books, and writing, the children completed crafts and even did some cooking as it related to the winter holiday celebration.

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They had so much fun traveling the world and learning so many interesting facts about holiday celebrations around our world.

A Closer Look at the GrowZone Players’ One Act Play

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The last post recapped the awesome event in November, ARTrageous, which featured art in all forms and concluded with a one-act play from our GrowZone Players. The play was St. George and the Dragon, written and adapted by school drama director, Ryan Bender.

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The GrowZone Players are our troupe of actors.  Students in 5th-8th grades have the opportunity each year to choose the drama elective and, as such, audition for roles in the annual fall one-act play and the spring musical.

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This year’s one-act play told the story of a king, a dragon and a band of royal court misfits that ultimately saved the day. It was laugh-out-loud funny, well performed and pure entertainment for all in attendance.

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The ever growing and changing list of members of our GrowZone Player troupe never cease to amaze audiences with their performances. They manage to take a script and bring it to life in a skilled and professional manner far exceeding their individual ages.

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Be sure to take every opportunity to see the GrowZone Players’ productions. They are not to be missed!

ARTrageous Recap

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On November 17, 2017, our school hosted our second annual art celebration and fundraising event. Last year it was called our Art Gala. This year the name changed to ARTrageous.

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The evening included gallery art from students, teachers and community members as well as writing performers, local musicians Elise and Micah McCool, the John C. Campbell Folk School Dancers and Band. The evening concluded with a hilarious performance by TLC’s own GrowZone Players in a one-act play titled, St. George and the Dragon.

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Special thanks to the following community partners for making this event a success:

Jackie Ward Foundation for Academics and the Arts

John C. Campbell Folk School

Roberta Rankin

Lori Coffey, Community Youth Players

David & Terry Blackshear

What is E-STEAM?

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E-STEAM is an acronym for entrepreneurship, science, technology, engineering, art AND agriculture and math.

For many years, we have worked diligently to make our curriculum and campus a true E-STEAM environment. We teach students that the science, math, and technology skills that are essential for becoming 21st Century citizens are deeply integrated within the activities of entrepreneurship and agriculture, as well as language, music, and visual arts.

Our philosophy of education is built upon the idea that young learners need to be exposed to a broad array of rich learning experiences.  As students move into high school and beyond, they will begin to specialize in more specific interests. 

However, it will be the early broad-based education that assures the well-rounded, future-ready leaders and citizens who are the foundation of a healthy, productive, creative and sustainable Community of Learners.

An incredible team of educators brings this approach to our students on a daily basis, providing these young learners with the tools they need to succeed. 

 

1st Grade Outside — Introduction to Fairy House Project

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First graders recently learned that they would be building fairy houses in The Outdoor Learning Center as part of their science studies.  After locating forest resources and ideal locations they created the beginnings of unique homes in the local trees.

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Students will be working on this project for several weeks as they troubleshoot building techniques, learn how to use basic tools for secure construction, explore design principles – including incorporation of the golden ratio in their design, and try out some sustainable building techniques such as building out of clay or cob.

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French Jazz Concert at The Learning Center

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Students and teachers delighted at the musical sounds provided by Djoukil, a French Jazz band that played at our school on November 6, 2017.

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Djoukil was presented in part by support from the Cherokee County Arts Council and the Brasstown Concert Association.

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Students enjoyed learning more about this type of music from these special visitors from France.

4th Grade Fieldwork — Clay County Historical Museum

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Recently, fourth grade students traveled to the Clay County Art and Historical Museum and the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit in Hayesville, North Carolina.

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Students spent time learning about native art and crafts of our region as well as trying their hand at basket weaving.

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Halloween Maker Events

Monster Maker winners

Being a Maker is what E-STEAM learning at TLC! is all about. We want all of our students to engage in the kind of hands-on learning that inspires natural curiosity and develops the skill to create and innovate. Each year for Halloween, we host Maker events that challenge and inspire the Maker spirit in our classrooms.  This year students could enter the Monster Maker contest, several categories of costume contests and a pumpkin carving contest.

Honorable mention in traditional category

While the challenges were not mandatory, teachers had the opportunity to use them as Project Based Learning opportunities in the classroom. Students could work on these challenges at home, in groups, as individuals, or with their families. We strongly encouraged all students and teachers to participate in these challenges, and be part of creating a handmade, hands-on experience for our Community of Learners!

Pumpkin carving winners

Students stretched their creative skills to the MAX to make monsters out of used materials! Upcycling means taking things we usually send to the landfill and recycling them into wild, creative, and sometimes useful art. Anything you can find and repurpose was allowed in this contest!

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The pumpkin carving contest was back this year too!

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The costume contest categories included traditional, Maker Challenge Yearly Theme of the 1980’s,  upcycled costumes, and group themed costumes.

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Fun was had by all!